Dublin Marathon – Meet the Runners – Robert Mangan

October 25, 2022

With just a few days to go until the Dublin Marathon, we have been talking to some runners about why they are running the Dublin Marathon, as well as some questions about their running journey. 

Next up is Robert Mangan of Dundrum South Dublin AC, and from Dublin.

Hi Rob, tell us a little bit about yourself?

I've was running from 2012 to 2014 and completed 9 marathons before I had to stop. Over the covid period I got back into running and have nearly got back to my previous times achieved.

Why are you running the Dublin marathon?

I am running the Dublin marathon with the aim of working my way towards and eventually breaking the 3 hour mark between now and 2024. It's a long term goal

Can you remember the moment when you decided to run your first marathon?

Yes I can. I was sitting in my in-laws house and I had just run my first competitive 5km in 21min.

My brother in law wondered what I could do a marathon in and I couldn't refuse the challenge. It wasn't very fast it was 03:51

Have you run many marathons before? Have you any run this year, or planned for next year?

I have run 9 marathons in total so far. I plan on running the Dublin marathon over the next 3 years if I'm lucky enough to get in each year plus a spring marathon like Barcelona or cork.

How did you get into running?

My brother in law could run a 02:55 marathon at the time and said I couldn't runs 5km run. It took off from there as a friendly rivalry. I then joined a club, got to know runners from other clubs and became great friends with some amazing people

How do you find the time to train? And how do you cope with missed sessions?

I mainly run in the early hours of the morning and start at 4am when working from home so I can help with the kids when they wake up. When I am in the office I run into and home from work to get in the training. I haven't missed many sessions but on the odd occasion I have say missed a lon easy 4mile run for example I will work it into my office journeys. There are three routes I can take. One is 7.33 miles another is 10 miles and the third is 15 miles.

How has your preparation been for the marathon? Have you run other races, or shorter races? Have you had injuries?

I have run the race series so far and the training is going very well. I have hit my targets and seem to be in course for my time in Dublin. I haven't had any injuries this training block because I changed my approach to running but last year and the year before I was plagued with shin splints every 3 months or so. I thought I was never going to get back into running.

Everyone has a different method of training. Do you train with a club or on your own? Tell us about your training plan

I train with a mixture of both to be honest. I train on my own with heart rate in order to train smart and avoid injury for around 60% of my runs, then run with the club to have that competitive edge during interval sessions or maybe for company on the odd long run.

What is your goal time for the Dublin marathon?

My goal time for the Dublin marathon is 03:20:00.

What would your advice be to runners heading into the marathon?

My advice would be to go in with a plan A, B, and C. Never go in with just one plan. And be prepared for things to go wrong in the day. That way you don't get into a panic. The psychological aspect of the race is the most important and you always want to be as positive as possible.

Do you have any techniques to motivate yourself when the going gets tough?

Yes I always go into every race saying it's only a race to the half way mark. Then it's a jog back to the car. You have to go forward to go back at that point. I also sit in with the Pacers till mile 20 then run my own race. It's a 20 mile jog to a 6 mile race so they say so I use the Pacers till mile 20 and from there cut the umbilical cord and try pick up the pace if I'm feeling good

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